Saccadic Track


Purpose: To reinforce reading eye movments, that is, left-right, up-down rapid sequential eye movements that are necessary for quickly and accurately acquiring visual signals from the printed page.

Material/Equipment: Print off the attached document. Ensure the client is wearing glasses if prescribed for near distance work (this is almost always advisable.) Stopwatch.

Download this file: Saccadic Track


1. Start at the Harmon Distance, with the paper in the child’s hands or on the table. Ensure good lighting.

2. Say ‘go’ then have the child look at each letter across each of the four lines as quickly as possible. Tell him you’ll be watching him.

3. Tell him that when he comes to the end, he should simply continue staring at the last letter and say ‘stop’.

4. Write down the time in the first space. Repeat the sequence 3 or 4 times, trying to beat the previous time. It’s ok to take a break in between trials, but no more than 30 seconds.

5. Proceed to the next smaller x’s as is appropriate, or simply move on to another exercise.


> Do a couple of practice runs where the child simply ‘feels’ his eyes as they move in rapid sequence across the page.

> Don’t worry about timing this, but he should go as fast as he can.